Buying a used product can be incredibly intimidating and for a good reason. If you are uncertain of what to look for to ensure that you’re not being sold something useless, damaged, or not worth the money you’re paying, buying used feels like too much risk. This concern is almost two-fold when it comes to vehicles. Thus, leading to the question of what should you look out for in a used off-roading vehicle?
The best way to ensure that you aren’t purchasing a vehicle that’ll fail you when you’re looking at the vehicle in front of you is to do a thorough check over the truck. Check under the bonnet for leaks, ensure that if any modifications were done to the truck, they don’t undermine the mechanical stability of it. Making sure you’ve done your research is the best way to ensure peace of mind in your purchase.
These are not the only things to look for when buying a used truck, of course. Ensuring that you know what you should ask for from the salesperson, what to expect from the sale, and how to ensure the truck is in good working order before the purchase is all obvious priorities for used vehicles.
What Should You Do Before Buying Used?
There are a lot of ways to ensure that the used truck you are purchasing is worth the money. Whether the truck is older than it appears on the listing, modifications have caused some instability; tires are in bad shape or if there are potential rusting issues.
Ensure that you look for the following issues before any money is exchanged to purchase the car.
This is a critical step in checking the life expectancy of any used car and should be the first thing you check with a used off-roader as well. Regardless of transmission miles, new engine, or anything else, without a frame to sit on the car has little left in it.
When checking the undercarriage, look for rust. If the frame is rusting through, then don’t buy it, simple as. Additionally, under most offer roading vehicles, there are skid plates that are meant to protect from rocks, stumps and anything else your truck may experience while off-roading. If they have gone through some severe damage, the truck may be more worn than you’re comfortable with.
While underneath the vehicle, make sure you check for replaced parts, new paint, worn parts and dents. Consider the cost of replacing any of the parts underneath if they look in need of replacing before buying.
Modifying a truck is a lot of fun for many people. It’s a common enough practice for off-roading vehicles that chances are you’ll stumble upon one or two in your hunt.
Though most dealerships are aware of the modifications, mistakes can happen, and improperly installed modifications can slip under the radar. The most common modification to come across is the suspension, so that’s the first place to check. Make sure that everything looks in place and good condition before purchasing.
Some modifications and parts may be purely aesthetic, and others impact the overall performance of the vehicle. When buying a modified off-roader, make sure you completely understand the modifications and the potential impact they could have now or down the road.
Anyone can tell you that overlooking tires in a purchasing problem is a common, but avoidable mistake. Even before considering what the tires could tell you about the state of the car in general, replacing old tires are expensive, and it’s essential to recognize that cost while purchasing a used off-roader.
Consider that if the tread is wearing unevenly on the vehicle, this could be a sign that this could tell you there is an alignment problem. Additionally, a more pair of front tires could indicate that they weren’t rotated correctly and that those front tires have been withstanding the weight of the engine for their entire use.
Worn tires are expensive, and it’s crucial that you consider them while you are looking over a used car to ensure that you’re not purchasing something that will need hundreds of dollars put into it before you can use it.
As discussed at the top, rust spots can indicate that there is a lot about the car that may need to be replaced. It’s not uncommon for there to be little signs of rust throughout the vehicle, and it doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem.
The problem with rust begins when you start seeing it on the cabin floor, the trunk, or in the frame. These rust issues can often be avoided, but if the previous owners did not properly care for their vehicle, there could be a rust issue that will cost a lot of money to fix. As such, ensure that you inspect it thoroughly at the first sign of any rusting.
It may not be a complete deal breaker if there are little signs, but consider the expensive repairs in off-roaders with severe rust damage.
What Should You Keep in Mind While Looking at Listings?
The first and most important thing to consider is doing your research. This is for a lot of reasons, and thusly should be regarded as a mandatory step before you even go look at any vehicle in person.
Doing your research means ensuring you understand the model you are considering, and narrowing that list down to 2 or 3 models. After that, however, it’s all about ensuring you understand the market for used vehicles. Look at the average price listed and compare features between the price differentials. There may be a reason one of the vehicles is going for so much lower than the others.
This is also to ensure that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you end up paying more than the vehicle is worth. Doing your research on the market helps you understand the model you are considering, the going price for that model on average, and how to avoid paying too much for the vehicle.
Additionally, ignore the sales pitch of the truck. It’s essential to understand the actual merits and age of the vehicle before buying it. All the sales pitch is trying to do is get you to be swept up into purchasing the vehicle based on the emotion of the moment. Make sure that when you are looking at the vehicle, you judge it based on its own merits, not off whatever the sales pitch is trying to tell you.
Buying a used truck can be intimidating. Caution is key when it comes to purchasing any used vehicle, but when in the market for an off-roader, you need to be as careful as you can be. Aside from the obvious, of test driving and checking the paperwork, doing a thorough search of the vehicle is essential.
Remember that even small signs of age could indicate more significant problems. The way the wear on the tires looks, the amount of rust you see, and so on, to name a few. The cost of repairs, replacements, and other fixes that could be required if you’re not careful could quickly make a used truck not worth the cost.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting what you’re paying for is keeping a list or a mental note of all of the potential parts that would need repair or replacement. After that, compare prices to other vehicles of the same model and make sure you’re as researched as possible before choosing a used off-roader.